Transponder keys are a special type of key that operates electronically, and that can be used to disarm an immobiliser on a vehicle when the car’s key is used to start the engine. This kind of key from Mobile Locksmith Gold Coast is very common on cars that were built after 1995, and it is a useful security feature.
How Do Transponder Keys Work?
Transponder keys work by ensuring that when the car key is turned, the engine’s control unit will send an electronic message to the key. The key then responds to that message. The key is programmed to respond in a specific way, and the car will only start if it gets that correct response from the key.
Transponder keys offer a double layer of security – they are a physical key that must be cut in the correct way to fit the lock that they go into, and they must also be programmed properly to ensure that the electronic control unit allows the car to start.
The transponder key can be programmed using a special device, which usually only authorised dealerships and garages have access to. This means that it is far harder for a would-be thief to start a car.
The term transponder is a shorthand for ‘transmitter + responder’ and it is not a new word, transponders have existed for more than 70 years, but they didn’t come into use in the consumer car market until just a couple of decades ago.
Transponders, in the car market, are relatively low powered devices. There is an induction coil mounted around the lock on the ignition, which produces an electromagnetic field. Inside the key, there is a transponder chip which includes some windings of wire that absorb the energy, and that energy is used to make the chip emit a signal. The signal is a unique (or at least specific and hard to guess) identification code that the car has been programmed to look out for. If the car recognizes the signal, then it will allow the vehicle to switch on.
Are Transponders Hard to Crack?
Transponders are a useful security measure, but they are far from perfect. Some older systems will remember the last key code for several minutes, so if you take the valid key out of the ignition and then try to use another key a couple of minutes later, it might still work. Also, some keys can be read or programmed by third party devices, although these are hard to come by if you are not a car dealer.
So, transponder keys are useful, but they are not perfect. If you want to keep your car secure, then you should look at ways to make it a less appealing target for thieves. Park it off-street, use a physical immobilizer. Don’t keep valuables in the car, and make sure you have and make use of a good car alarm. Transponder keys will help to improve security, but due diligence is always a good strategy.